COPD patients' hospital stays 67% shorter due to one additional staff meeting, study finds

February 24, 2020

CHICAGO--February 24, 2020--Hospitals can dramatically reduce the length of a patient's stay (by up to 67%) when their provider teams hold integrated care conferences (ICCs), a daily meeting for providers to share information at once. However, the seemingly obvious concept is rarely implemented, according to researchers in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Admitted patients require multidisciplinary teams to provide care, including nurses, social workers, pharmacists and more. Most hospitals leave it up to the primary physician to do the leg work of coordinating that care via individual emails, phone calls and in-person meetings.

"When I first encountered a hospital with ICCs, I was awestruck by how much easier and efficiently everything ran," says Ryan Shilian, DO, an adult and pediatric allergy/immunology fellow with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and lead author on this study. "At the vast majority of hospitals, it is left up to the primary physician to physically seek out and coordinate supporting services."

An intuitive practice with dramatic results

Dr. Shilian set out to quantify the efficiency of ICCs by comparing the lengths of stay for COPD patients at two University Hospital facilities. Each had similar staffing and resources, as well as patient populations. The key difference was one maintained a daily ICC in which representatives from each care provider team met to discuss patient progress and address barriers to a safe discharge. The other did not.

The average length of stay for patients with COPD at the hospital with ICCs was 3.37 days, compared to 5.55 days in the hospital without them. Additionally, in the hospital with daily ICCs, patients aged 40 to 69 years old had a 67% shorter admission, and patients aged 70 to 99 years or older had a 36% shorter length of stay compared with patients at the hospital without those meetings.

Dr. Shilian says that the more common model of care coordination--without ICCs--is not only slower but allows more opportunities for miscommunication and gaps in treatment. He adds that reducing the length of hospital stays will save money and improve patient outcomes as patients will have less exposure to risks like secondary infections and other complications.

The vast majority of hospitals conduct multidisciplinary rounds (MDRs) in which the attending physician visits each patient with an entourage of residents, medical students, nurses, ancillary clinicians and staff to discuss the diagnoses and treatment plans. Dr. Shilian notes that MDRs are often held at the bedside, leaving little space and time for the large group to have meaningful discussion and/or input.

He adds that ICCs are held in a conference room that can accommodate the required staff, but also provide a more collaborative environment that dedicates time for every team member's input. ICCs are typically led by nursing supervisors, who represent the most direct point of care, and are focused on the patients' progress and identifying the necessary steps to getting each patient healthy enough to discharge.
-end-
About The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) is the official scientific publication of the American Osteopathic Association. Edited by Robert Orenstein, DO, it is the premier scholarly peer-reviewed publication of the osteopathic medical profession. The JAOA's mission is to advance medicine through the publication of peer-reviewed osteopathic research.

Media Contact

Jeff Brennan, Media Relations Manager
312-202-8161 | jbrennan@osteopathic.org

American Osteopathic Association

Related COPD Articles from Brightsurf:

Promising therapeutic approach against COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common and deadliest diseases worldwide.

COPD underdiagnosed in older adults, but can be managed
''Recognizing and Treating COPD in Older Adults'' the latest issue of the What's Hot newsletter from The Gerontological Society of America, addresses what is known about the prevalence, incidence, and impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in older adults.

Undersized airways may explain why nonsmokers get COPD
A mismatch between airway and lung size may explain why some nonsmokers get COPD and some heavy smokers do not, according to a new study from Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Is pulmonary rehab after hospitalization for COPD associated with better survival?
Claims data for nearly 200,000 Medicare patients were used to examine the association between starting pulmonary rehabilitation within 90 days of being hospitalized for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and survival after one year.

COPD and smoking associated with higher COVID-19 mortality
Current smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have an increased risk of severe complications and higher mortality with COVID-19 infection, according to a new study published May 11, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jaber Alqahtani of University College London, UK, and colleagues.

COPD as a lung stem cell disease
Two internationally renowned stem cell researchers at the University of Houston have found an abundance of abnormal stem cells in the lungs of patients who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a leading cause of death worldwide.

New hope for COPD patients possible with in-home device
In a new paper published Feb. 4 in JAMA, Mayo Clinic researchers describe the benefits of in-home noninvasive ventilation therapy, which includes a type referred to as bilevel positive airway pressure, or BiPAP -- for many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD appears to cause more severe symptoms in women
Women who develop COPD report smoking fewer cigarettes than men; and yet, women experience greater breathing impairments, are subjected to more acute exacerbations of symptoms and report lower quality of life than men with the disease, according to research presented at ATS 2019.

African-Americans with COPD appear less likely to use pulmonary rehab
African-American patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, are less likely to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation programs than white patients, even when there are programs nearby.

COPD and type 2 diabetes
COPD and type 2 diabetes are two highly prevalent global health conditions associated with high mortality and morbidity.

Read More: COPD News and COPD Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.